Kickstart My Career

By Ryan McLaughlin

You have an idea for a video game.  However, you find yourself a little short on funds to produce said game.  Lucky for you, the Internet has answered your prayers and has created numerous methods for crowdsourcing your video game, or asking perfect strangers to fund your game.  However, problems can arise when people abuse these systems for a quick buck and fail to fulfill promises they made.

The largest crowdsourcing website for independent developers. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

 Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. It can fund numerous projects, from movies to video games and more.  They only have three rules: The project must be something to be shared, projects must be clearly represented, and projects can not offer financial incentives nor offer prohibited items.

Though there are several examples, the most prominent case of violating these rules comes from Peter Molyneux, developer of the game Godus. Molyneux was famous in the gaming community for developing the Fable games.  He was famous enough that his independent venture, Godus, raised over half a million pounds for his return to the god game genre without much promotional material.

However, problems arose when it was time for fans to start receiving their rewards.  Kickstarter programs offer rewards based on tiers of donations.  However, none of the rewards were ready, because Godus had gone way over schedule.  In 2012, Molyneux promised that Godus would be finished in seven months. Yet, it still is not complete today.  The game has reached Steam Early Access, but it’s still not complete. In fact, many of the rewards promised may never come to fruition, such as a Linux version of the game and an art book. In the rewards tier, the art book is listed, but later described as a “making of” book.

Since then, 22 Cans, the company developing Godus, has released an update, asking the community which they would rather have.  Still, these people were waiting over two years for rewards that they were originally promised in seven months.

Molyneux’s Godus is only one example of this abuse of a system. Molyneux’s fame makes this story more prominent, as the man is already famous for “overpromising” and disappointing his fans.  He has already announced his next game, The Trail, while Godus has yet to be finished.  Molyneux has promised to stop talking to the press, but he made this promise to multiple outlets, so only time will tell if this hold’s true.

 

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